Who's on Top?

Who's on Top?

Who's on Top?

Gossip, speculation, and scuttlebutt about politics.
Jan. 28 1998 9:36 PM

Who's on Top?

A split in the commentariat: Writing in Time, Andrew Ferguson says that if Clinton is driven from office it will be not be because he had an adulterous affair while in the White House, but because "the girl is by many definitions still a girl ... 21, fresh from college" and "decent people in positions of power do not exploit the vulnerable for kicks." It will also be because of "the kind of sex they had"--which Ferguson, following press accounts of Monica's accounts, characterizes as "strictly one-way, designed for maximum pleasure" of the president. Meanwhile, in The New Yorker, Larissa MacFarquhar rejects the notion that Monica is a victim. She's "a college graduate of twenty-one" who will at worst wind up with a great book deal. And Clinton is "a babe" ...

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Who's right? MacFarquhar's historical scholarship is open to question. She seems to believe Lewinsky got to "sleep with ... the President," something the tapes actually contradict. As the girl who lives down the hall from Chatterbox complains, "she gives him a blow job and then has to wait around in receiving lines!" ... On the other hand, suppose Clinton had gone all the way and driven Lewinsky wild with pleasure. Would that change Ferguson's mind? Probably not. As for the age difference--well, wouldn't it be just typical of baby boomers like Ferguson to define anyone younger than they are as immature, not quite adult. ...

Chatterbox believes the dynamics of human sexuality are complex and subtle, and it's hard to tell who is taking advantage of whom at any one time. Clinton may be a user, but you don't get driven from office for being a user. (Name a successful pol who isn't.) He doesn't seem to have egregiously led Lewinsky on with lies and fake JFK-style promises of love or matrimony, in the classic male-asshole mode. Yes, he did talk of strains in his marriage and suggested the he'd be "alone" after he left the White House. But that may have been the truth. Overall, the situation must have been pretty clear. Chatterbox sides with MacFarquhar, at least at this point in time. Neither Lewinsky nor Clinton were victims. There were victims, but they are to be found outside the relationship. ...

Oh, yes: If true! Almost forgot.